• prostate cancer;
  • prostatectomy;
  • inguinal hernia;
  • ultrasonography;
  • magnetic resonance imaging

Study Type – Therapy (case series)

Level of Evidence 4

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

Some studies have evaluated preoperative and intraoperative examination for inguinal hernias and their repair, noting a decrease in the rate of post-prostatectomy hernias. However, this did not eradicate post-prostatectomy hernias, indicating that this method probably missed subclinical hernias. Other studies looked at prophylactic procedures to prevent the formation of inguinal hernias at the time of prostatectomy and showed a decrease in the rate of postoperative hernias.

To our knowledge this is the only series evaluating a multi-modal approach with magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonography and examination to identify all clinical and subclinical hernias and repair them at the time of prostatectomy. This approach only subjects those patients at risk for symptomatic hernias to an additional procedure and decreases the post-prostatectomy hernia rate to <1%.


  • • 
    To assess if a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose clinical and subclinical hernias and repair of these hernias at the time of open radical retropubic prostatectomy (ORRP) decreases the incidence of clinical inguinal hernias (IHs) after ORRP.


  • • 
    Between 1 July 2007 and 31 July 2010, 281 consecutive men underwent ORRP by a single surgeon.
  • • 
    Of these men, 207 (74%) underwent comprehensive preoperative screening for IH, which included physical examination, upstanding ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging.
  • • 
    Between 12 and 24 months after ORRP, 178 (86%) of these men completed a questionnaire designed to capture development of clinical IHs.


  • • 
    Of the 178 evaluable patients, 92 (52%) were diagnosed preoperatively with IH by at least one diagnostic modality.
  • • 
    Forty-one and 51 of the men had bilateral or unilateral IHs, respectively for a total of 133 IHs.
  • • 
    No preoperative factor was significantly associated with the presence of an IH before prostatectomy.
  • • 
    No groin subjected to IH repair (IHR) at the time of ORRP developed a clinical IH compared with four of the 21 patients with postoperative IHs who did not undergo repair of their preoperatively diagnosed IH at the time of ORRP (P= 0.024).
  • • 
    Only one (0.4%) clinical IH developed in a groin that had no evidence of IH by physical examination, upstanding ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging before prostatectomy.


  • • 
    Our comprehensive evaluation increases the detection of IHs before ORRP.
  • • 
    Repair of these IHs at the time of ORRP significantly decreases the risk of developing post-prostatectomy clinical IHs.